No. 15 Clemson Eliminates No. 2 Virginia Tech From ACC Tournament

Clemson and Valerie Cagle had Virginia Tech’s number for the second year in a row at the ACC Tournament. (David Hague)

For the second consecutive season, No. 15 Clemson and Valerie Cagle eliminated No. 2 Virginia Tech from the ACC Softball Tournament.

The Clemson right-hander threw a complete game 4-hitter to beat the Hokies 4-1 Friday afternoon and send the Tigers to the ACC Championship game against Florida State. The Tigers also eliminated the Hokies from last year’s tournament when Cagle threw a 3-hit shutout in a 2-0 win.

“We ran into a Super Regional-type team today and came up a little short,” Virginia Tech head coach Pete D’Amour told Tech Sideline after the game. “Emma [Lemley] gave us a chance to win, like she has all year. Offensively, we hit some balls hard, but we never really threatened with any type of power.”

The game was the second in two days where the VT offense struggled. The top-seeded Hokies only managed two runs on five hits Thursday in a 2-1 win over Syracuse.

Tech’s lone run came in the sixth inning when a fielder’s choice from Emma Ritter drove in Mackenzie Lawter, who had singled and moved to third on a single by Cameron Fagan. And although the Hokies only struck out twice on Friday, they only forced Cagle to throw 74 pitches, grounding out 12 times.

“From here on out, we’ll have to swing with better intent to drive balls for extra base hits,” D’Amour said. “We can’t be content with just putting balls in play at this stage in the season.”

Emma Lemley put the Hokies in a good position, but didn’t get the run support she needed. (David Hague)

Lemley (15-6) started the game in the circle for VT and although she only surrendered five hits, two were home runs from the Tigers’ Alia Logoleo, which gave Cagle all the support she needed. Lemley walked two and struck out six in her ACC Tournament debut.

One bright spot for the Hokies was senior catcher Mackenzie Lawter, who tied the all-time Virginia Tech record for runners thrown out stealing with this bullet to nail Clemson’s Mackenzie Clark in the first inning. It was her 37th runner caught stealing, tying the record held for 17 years by Megan Evans.

“Mackenzie is a player that embodies what our softball program is and the type of player I look for,” D’Amour said. “She’s hard working, accountable, never complains, a great teammate, wants to win, always smiling whether she’s playing well or not, and loves Virginia Tech. I’m proud of her.”

The Hokies now head back to Blacksburg where they will await the NCAA Selection Show Sunday night at 7 p.m. on ESPN2. They are currently No. 2 in the RPI and are expected to be awarded a top-eight seed, meaning they would host both Regionals and Super Regionals at Tech Softball Park, should they advance.

Box Score: Link 

12 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Syracuse & Clemson both examples of what happens when you beat the snot out of teams in the regular season. When they play you in tournament, they play over their heads. Plus, Clemson coach pitched their No. 2 pitcher in first round so their ace would be fresh for Tech.

    1. If your legit #1-2 you should be able to handle challenges like this, ladies will get another chance next week to prove they are legit, looking forward to seeing if they are or not.

  2. Our team needed to be more selective especially on 1st pitch offerings. Cagle purposely pitched low balls on most of her 1st pitches and we hit a ton of 1st pitch routine ground balls. She only threw 74 pitches in the game. We’ve been a little too anxious at bat in the last few games.

    1. The VT-Cagle battles the last two years have been something to watch. In the 8 games (6 regular season and 2 ACCT) we’ve beat her 3 times and she has won 3. Two of those, obviously, were in the ACCT. At times she has looked ordinary and then she can be dominant at other times. We’ve not yet faced her at home. Still as Coach said, Emma allowed VT to be in the game but the bats have been pedestrian. I’m hoping we can get some home cooking in the regionals.

  3. Water always finds it level, if we are legit we will go far, if not we are not as good as our ranking would indicate.

    Anyway it will get decided on the field, doesn’t matter what anyone thinks…..

  4. In baseball, anybody can lose to anyone on any given day. just unfortunate that the ACCT is one game and done. We will see what the NCAAT brings.

    On the other hand, I thought during the season that maybe too much attention and pressure was being put on the team. Fan base needs to take it easy during an excellent season and just let things run as normal as possible. Don’t hype the team to levels that adds pressure to win. Of course, it is up to the coach to keep things steady. Just a thought.

      1. The Coaches are strongly against that idea. It uses it too many pitchers a week before the NCAA tournament.

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